Visions, the third album by one-woman project Montreal-based Claire Boucher, or, Grimes, brings into focus the many contrasts at the heart of her music: tensions between pop structure, technology and the human body, between sensory-overloaded hyper-presence and transcendence. For this album redesign, I decided to immerse myself in the influential elements behind the album, in order to create a visual language that successfully conveys the niche aesthetic of cyber twee.
Drawn by Grimes herself while watching the 2009 film Enter the Void, the original Visions cover art contains gothic imagery, poetry by Russian writer Anna Akhmatova, and symbols from an imaginary alphabet. When designing the cover, Grimes had just emerged from locking herself in a blacked out room and fasting for weeks. She explains, “I was trying to drive myself insane....and because of that, yeah, I think it (the album) turned out.”
Going into my redesign, I wanted to have the most authentic experience generating imagery for this body of work, so I researched and consumed every influence the artist sited.
Construct a visual system that layers Grimes' many
influences to create a cyber goth aesthetic.
When beginning the sketching process, I decided to start digitally. I compiled colors, textures, and type elements haphazardly, aiming to create a starting off point for my imagery. I chose to use a variety of pinky hues and deeper dark tones in order to convey the sweetness of Grimes' voice and darkness of the meaning behind the album.
Then, once the digital sketches were done, I printed them out and ran them through the scanner, purposefully messing with the imagery. From there, I was able to isolate the colors and shapes that interested me, and create the cover art.
After transforming the cover image until it became a mystical, winged, sci-fi illustration, I decided to pair it with a more streamlined version of the glyphs Grimes' designed. I vectorized the artist's invented glyphs and added some gridded type in a proposed alien language.
For the back cover, in order to achieve a simple, futuristic look, I justified an extremely narrow typeface. This type design combined with the space-like imagery give the album the cyber fairy goth look I desired.
Use research and experimental processes to
re-design album artwork.
Visual Identity Fabrication